QVC owner to buy Zulily for $2.32 billion
Zulily, which offers flash sales of products like toys and children's clothing geared to young moms, now has a parent. Liberty Interactive Corp. which owns home shopping network QVC, announced that it's buying Zulily in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $2.32 billion. The deal will create a company with combined revenue of more than $10 billion and 230 million products shipped globally to 19 million customers in 85 countries. QVC will better be able to reach younger shoppers while Zulily hopes to pump up sales growth, which has slowed. Zulily's sales topped $1 billion last year, but its shares have been in decline since February 2014. The per-share price paid by QVC is below the $22 Zulily got during its initial public offering in November 2013.
Petco plans initial public offering of stock
Petco Holdings Inc. plans to go public again almost nine years after two private equity firms bought the pet store operator. For the purpose of calculating a filing fee, the San Diego company said it expects to raise $100 million through an initial public offering. That amount can change. The retailer of pets, pet food, supplies and services has around 1,400 stores around the U.S. and 13 in Mexico that are run through a joint venture. Petco says it earned net income of $75 million in its latest fiscal year. Its profits have fallen over the past two years, but have improved over the first half of the current fiscal year. The company's annual revenue grew to $4 billion. Petco was acquired by private equity firms TPG Global and Leonard Green & Partners in October 2006 for about $1.68 billion.
Dallas Fed names president to replace Fisher
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has named Robert Steven Kaplan, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive who left to teach at Harvard in 2006, as its new president. Kaplan, 58, will take his post Sept. 8, the Dallas Fed said. He will replace Richard Fisher, who was president from April 2005 to March 2015. Helen Holcomb, the Dallas Fed's first vice president, has served as interim head since Fisher retired. The new president, who won't vote on policy until 2017, is joining the Fed at a pivotal time. The U.S. central bank's policymakers are weighing when and how quickly to raise interest rates, which have been held near-zero since 2008.
Homebuilders' optimism in market rises
U.S. homebuilders grew slightly more optimistic about the housing market in August, putting their confidence at levels last seen a decade ago during the debt-fueled housing boom. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose this month to 61, the highest level since November 2005. The reading was 60 in both June and July. Any reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. Builders' view of current sales conditions and buyer traffic improved in August, while sales prospects over the next six months were stable. Still, builders say that are finding it difficult to buy land and hire construction crews.
FCC limits Dish's use of small-biz credits
The Federal Communications Commission said Dish Network Corp. can't apply $3.3 billion in small-business credits toward the purchase of airwaves it gained in a government auction. The government sells spectrum to carriers like AT&T and Verizon so they can add more capacity for wireless Internet. Dish is a satellite TV company that has stocked up on airwaves although it has no cellphone business. Dish has reportedly been in talks to acquire wireless carrier T-Mobile.
Blue Bell ready to sell ice cream again
Blue Bell Creameries will resume distributing ice cream to select markets in Texas and Alabama this month after halting sales and production following listeria contamination. The Brenham, Texas-based company said it plans to re-enter parts of 15 states in five phases. The first phase, which starts Aug. 31, will include the Brenham, Houston and Austin areas in Texas and the Birmingham and Montgomery areas in Alabama. Blue Bell in April voluntarily recalled all products after its treats were linked to 10 listeria illnesses in four states.
Citigroup units to pay $179M over funds
Two Citigroup Inc. affiliates have agreed to pay $179.5 million to resolve federal regulators' charges of misleading investors in hedge funds that later collapsed. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday the settlement with Citigroup Alternative Investments, a subsidiary of the bank, and Citigroup Global Markets, an affiliated company. The amount they are paying, $139.9 million plus $39.6 million in interest, will be returned to investors in two hedge funds. The two firms neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.